In light of the surge of illegal immigration on the border since President Joe Biden took office last year, citizens have increasingly called for border states to fill in the gap created by his lax policies.

Since courts have generally disallowed states from enforcing immigration law, one of the most prominent solutions proposed now is to declare an invasion at the border.

Now, following Tuesday’s primary elections, Arizona could be the first border state poised to do so.

Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution allows for states to repel an invasion themselves by utilizing their state guards. Declaring an invasion would also allow for governors to enter into an interstate compact to secure the border.

While Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has thus far refused to take that action, Arizona gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake has made the policy a central part of her campaign, saying at a rally last week that it would be a Day 1 action if she is elected to lead the state.

Though she trailed her main opponent, Karrin Taylor Robson, in early voting, Lake outperformed her two to one on Election Day voting, leading to a surge that has placed Lake in the lead. While votes continue to be counted, Lake has declared victory along with some analysts.

Lake will now face Democrat Katie Hobbs in the November general election.

While Arizona shares 370 miles of border with Mexico, Texas carries the bulk of the burden with 1,254 miles—and thousands of illegals crossing each day.

Should Lake win and follow through with her promise to declare an invasion on the southern border, even more pressure would be placed on Texas to follow suit.

So far, Gov. Abbott has been reluctant to do so, despite calls from the Republican Party of Texas, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and several of the border counties themselves.

Notably, while Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has released an official opinion supporting the legality of the invasion declaration, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has refused requests to do so. Paxton has, however, told Texas Scorecard that he would be willing to defend such actions if the governor or Legislature took action.

“It cannot be the law that the Texas governor, the Arizona governor, or any governor can sit by while crimes are being committed, while their states are being pillaged,” said Paxton in an interview earlier this year.

The general election will take place on November 8, 2022.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens